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Verna J. ‘Shaggy’ Waits
Verna J. “Shaggy” Waits, 85, of Greenfield, passed away Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, at Kindred Transitional Care Greenfield.
Verna was born Nov. 13, 1928, to the late Ester Lucinda (Ferguson) and John Katzbach in Valparaiso.
She was raised on a 40-acre farm in Rensselaer, where she formed her lifelong love of horses. Upon graduation from Rensselaer High School in 1945, she joined the Cherokee Hammons Wild West Show, embarking on what became the adventure that shaped her life.
Verna trained horses, roped calves, rode jumping horses, trick horses and saddle broncs, and performed in horseback quadrille and Roman riding events.
In 1946, Verna met Howard “Billy” Waits when he joined the same rodeo show. They married on Dec. 27, 1947, in Valdosta, Georgia.
Verna and Bill went on to have two sons and settle down in Greenfield, where they opened the Tack Room and became active members of the Indiana Quarter Horse Association. After years of running the Tack Room and traveling on the quarter horse show circuit with their travel store, they took on the challenge of managing the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh. Verna retired in 2000.
Verna is survived by her sons, Kreg (Sara) Waits and William “Bill” Waits; a sister, Wilma Kresel; a brother, John Katzbach; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Bill.
A public visitation for Verna will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Stillinger Family Funeral Home, 1780 W. Main St., Greenfield. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, followed by a private family burial at Philadelphia Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Verna’s honor to the Valley Riders Horse Club in care of Stephanie Dunn.
For more information or to leave online condolences, visit stillingerfamilyfuneralhome.com.
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